Trump says next meeting with North Korea's Kim likely in early 2019

South Korean and US soldiers stand guard at the truce village of Panmunjom July 2017.   Jung Yeon-Je  Reuters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was due to meet with a top North Korean official in early November, but the meeting was abruptly put off, with North Korea insisting that Washington ease sanctions.

The South Korean military spotted the suspected defector crossing the military demarcation line that separates the border.

During the surveys, a North Korean train engine will pull six South Korean cars - including passenger and sleeping cars, a power-generator vehicle and a fuel tanker - to test operability.

More than 30,000 North Korean civilians have fled their homeland but most flee across the porous frontier with China, and rarely across the inter-Korean border which is fortified with minefields and barbed wire. Pence told NBC News last month the United States would not require Pyongyang to provide a complete list of nuclear weapons and locations before the second summit, but that the meeting must produce a concrete plan.

The defection came just over a year after another North Korean soldier dashed across the border in the truce village of Panmunjom under a hail of gunfire from his former comrades.

Trump said they had discussed three sites for the summit but had not decided anything, adding that he was open to receiving Kim in the USA at some point, reports Efe news.

It is the first time since 2007 a train from the South has entered North Korea.

"We're getting along very well".

The US has given its support to the rail survey, but Mr Moon will have to have a number of hard conversations if he's to persuade President Donald Trump that easing sanctions at this stage would be worthwhile so the project can go ahead, our correspondent says. He also said his administration is ready to lift the sanctions on North Korea, but asserted that Pyongyang has to be "responsive" to Washington.

South Korea will send trains across the border to the North for the first time in a decade, after recent sanction exemptions paved the way to begin work to connect railways separated since the Korean War.

They have also begun work to reconnect a train line and fix another rail link across the border.

"As he promised, President Moon should invite Kim to Seoul and convince him" of making headway in the stalled denuclearization talks, former Unification Minster Jeong Se-hyun said during a meeting with liberal politicians on Saturday.

The two leaders made a vague commitment on "denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula during the summit, but glossed over how to make it happen.

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